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Dragon netters earn hard-fought win over Mercyhurst Prep

ERIE — The Warren Dragons boys tennis team traveled to the Pennbriar Athletic Club on Monday to open their season against Mercyhurst Prep. The Dragons came away with a hard-fought 3-2 victory.

In first singles, junior Lionel Eason fell to Neil Chen 6-0, 6-1.

“Neil is new to Mercyhurst and is a good player. Lionel fought hard, but Chen was just too tough,” said assistant coach John Parroccini.

At second singles, senior Simon Smith fell short in his match against Nick Mecca 6-4, 6-1.

“Simon started well, but Mecca was able to adjust his game. I know Simon will get better as the year progresses,” said head coach Jon Meyer. The Dragons were victorious in both doubles matches. At first doubles, junior Jimmy Lobdell and sophomore Caleb Ei scored an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over Alex Harrity and Matt Trost.

At second doubles, junior Cade Poston and freshman Tyler Howard defeated Louis Li and Steven Zhou 6-1, 6-2.

“Both doubles teams played very well today. They dominated at net and really put the pressure on their opponents,” said Parroccini.

In the match of the day, junior Alex Fincher — an Eisenhower student playing through the county-wide co-op — outlasted Cody Xu 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in a three-hour marathon match to seal the win for the Dragons.

“Alex started very strong, and was able to make adjustments as the match went on. He kept his composure in the third set and was able to pull it out at the end,” said Meyer.

“I’m very proud of our team. This was Mercyhurst’s third match, so they were prepared to play. We had to battle some nerves today, but our boys were able to stay focused.”

The Dragons are now 1-0 to begin the year. They take on Harbor Creek at Penn State Behrend on Thursday.

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